Metal or Plastic Barrels? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-13-2012, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Metal or Plastic Barrels?

I've always barrel raced with plastic barrels but I know some people use and prefer metal. What are the differences, pros and cons for the two? There's some super cheap metal barrels that I'd like to buy, but not using those normally, I don't know if it's a good idea.

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post #2 of 15 Old 11-13-2012, 06:11 PM
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I've always had plastic. They don't rust so I don't worry so much about scraping one on a tight turn. Of course the object is to get close without touching but you do try. They also don't clang as much if you do knock one over, if you have a spooky horse.
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-13-2012, 06:12 PM
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Well, knowing NOTHING about barrel racing, take this with several grains of salt...

Assuming the barrels are empty, the metal barrels are heavier and therefore would tip less easily.
The plastic barrels don't have the bend edge that metal barrels have.

Plastic barrels don't dent as easily as metal.

When you're done barrel racing, you can cut the plastic and use them as water buckets! :)
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-13-2012, 06:13 PM
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Metal ones are cheap and easy to get at local gas stations. The one benefit is that they won't blow away easily in the wind. And when dirt hits them, they actually make a nice "ting" sound your horse will need to get used to. (Good training purpose) However, it really hurts when that metal hits your shin. And most only come as black metal so if you want bright colors you'll need to purchase barrel covers or paint the metal.

Plastic is much easier to handle because it is lighter, and it doesn't hurt near as much when you hit a shin on it. They're usually blue or white, and bright colors can be scary to a horse, so that can help train them there. But you will need to fill them with water or sand so they don't blow away in the wind.

I grew up with metal barrels. Then we acquired some plastic ones. Now I'm on my own and I just went to the local gas station and bought 3 metal barrels for $15 each.
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-13-2012, 06:57 PM
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When running I prefer metal....they hurt like crazy to hit (makes you work extra hard at not catching one lol) but they don't tip as easy and are more sturdy.

When I am working the pattern or drills I have a couple plastic and a set of pop up barrels. I like the plastic because they are lighter and if I want to set up a different drill I can usually pick them up by the cap hole on top and move them, same with the pop ups.

It comes down to personal preference, but I have never been to a race where they use plastic barrels during the race they always use metal.

Conformation is how far the horse CAN go,
Mind is how far the horse WILL go,
Training is how far it DOES go.
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-13-2012, 07:24 PM
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Personally I like the pop-up barrels. No pain, no penalties!! =D But I agree with BarrelRacingLvr. Metal barrels at a competition, and plastic in practice. :)
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-13-2012, 09:38 PM
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The shows I go to plastic barrels are against the rules. My barn uses metal barrels, and yes they hurt when you hit them but they don't tip so easily. I wouldn't mind having plastic or pop ups to practice with though, alot easier on the shins.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-13-2012, 09:41 PM
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They make shin guards....
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-13-2012, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I was thinking about the pain factor, too These are only $10 and are a blue color. I thought I could just get them to start out with until I could maybe afford plastic barrels. I figure that having metal barrels are better than none at all!

Journey, Spirit and Goldie...
Love is when reality is better than your dreams!
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-13-2012, 11:31 PM
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I have 3 metal barrels..had two plastic ones...and they have completely blown away O.o

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